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Three Strangers (1946)

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 912 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 13 critic

Three strangers, each with a serious problem in their lives, share a sweepstakes ticket which they wished upon together before a Chinese idol.

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Writers:

(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Crystal Shackleford
...
Johnny West
...
Icey Crane
Robert Shayne ...
Bertram Fallon
Marjorie Riordan ...
Janet Elliott
Arthur Shields ...
Prosecutor
Rosalind Ivan ...
Lady Rhea Belladon
John Alvin ...
Junior Clerk
Peter Whitney ...
Timothy Delaney aka Gabby
...
David Shackleford
Clifford Brooke ...
Senior Clerk
Doris Lloyd ...
Mrs. Proctor
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Storyline

According to a legend, if three strangers gather before an idol of Kwan Yin (the Chinese goddess of fortune and destiny) on the night of the Chinese New Year and make a common wish, Kwan Yin will open her eyes and her heart and grant the wish. In London 1938 on the Chinese New Year, Crystal Shackleford has such an idol and decides to put the legend to the test. She picks two random strangers off the street, and puts the proposition to them. They decide that an ideal wish would be for a sweepstakes ticket they buy equal shares in to be a winner. After all, everyone needs money and a pot is very easy to divide equally, right? Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

BREATHTAKING SUSPENSE - THRILLS! (original ad - all caps)

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 January 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

3 Desconhecidos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Robert Osborne of TCM, this film was at one point intended to be a sequel to "The Maltese Falcon." Following the success of that film, Warner Bros. wanted to make a sequel. Falcon write/director John Huston said he'd previously written an un-filmed scrip for Warner Bros. that would be appropriate and would only required the character names to be changed to the Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet and Mary Astor characters. However, Warner Bros. discovered they did not own the rights to the characters except for their appearance in "The Maltese Falcon." See more »

Quotes

Detective: [to Fallon] Even if I am a policeman, I hate a squealer.
See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz in A Flat Major, Op. 39
(uncredited
Music by Johannes Brahms
Played on the piano by Johnny
See more »

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User Reviews

A clone that goes one better
2 June 2000 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Obviously meant as a "Maltese Falcon" ripoff, this is in many ways a much better film, and definitely one of Huston's best. Though set in 1938, it has a strongly pessimistic, existentialist post-WWII feel to it. The three strangers seem to symbolize the forces of greed, cruelty, and self-destruction at the heart of war and human misery in general--and note that in this version there is no Sam Spade to intervene when things go horribly wrong. The hero of the story by default is the romantic alcoholic Johnny West (a tour de force by Peter Lorre in one of the few true lead roles allowed him by the vindictive Jack Warner.) Not that he's morally superior to the vicious Crystal Shackleford or the crass Arbutney, just that he's too apathetic and detached to intentionally harm anyone.


16 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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